Hurricane center says 70% chance for tropical system off US coast

©Orlando Sentinel

ORLANDO, Fla. — Chances are good this week the 2020 hurricane season will get its sixth tropical system.

The National Hurricane Center continues to track an area of low pressure now located inland near the South Carolina coast that continues to dump heavy rain over portions of the southeastern United States.

Forecasters say the low pressure will move northeast near or just offshore of the North Carolina Outer Banks on Thursday, then turn north-northeast while over the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of the mid-Atlantic on Friday where the waters could help churn it into the a tropical depression.

The system is expected to continue to dump heavy rainfall that could cause flash flooding across eastern North Carolina, the coastal mid-Atlantic and southern New England, and produce gusty winds during the next few days, whether it becomes tropical or not, forecasters said.

As of 2 p.m. Tuesday, the NHC puts chances it would become a tropical system at 70% in the next two to five days. The next update is at 8 p.m. EDT.

If it does become tropical and maintain sustained winds of at least 39 mph, it would be Tropical Storm Fay.

The system began moving over land coming in over the Florida Panhandle on Monday.

The 2020 hurricane season has already seen five named tropical storms with two early systems, Tropical Storm Arthur and Tropical Storm Bertha forming in May. Tropical Storm Cristobal formed from a system that developed on the first day of the official season, which runs from June 1-Nov. 30 and Tropical Storm Dolly formed later in June. Tropical Storm Edouard quickly formed and fizzled out this week, becoming post-tropical in the north Atlantic by Monday night.

The 2020 hurricane season names are: Arthur, Bertha, Cristobal, Dolly, Edouard, Fay, Gonzalo, Hanna, Isaias, Josephine, Kyle, Laura, Marco, Nana, Omar, Paulette, Rene, Sally, Teddy, Vicky and Wilfred.

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©2020 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)